Whats the best way to learn some hands-on information about the fashion industry? By speaking to those working in it. Throughout our series of ‘Meet the Insiders’ we’ll be speaking to garment technologists, fashion buyers, designers, marketers and more to learn more about their career history, and the top tips for you to achieve your career goals, too.
Today we talk to a Social Media and Influencer Executive, Lucy, who manages a number of platforms including Instagram and Facebook for a leading U.K. eCommerce brand. She tells us how she got to her success, as well as sharing her top tips and advice on how you could achieve this dream role.
I studied Fashion Marketing and Promotion at The London College of Fashion, so whilst studying I took on lots of different internships within Fashion to get my foot in the door, which really helped. My first role was actually within beauty, but it was a great way to get started and experiment with different elements of social and PR. After that I knew it was social that I wanted to delve into, so my second role was with Warehouse Fashion as their Social and Content Assistant.
Within this role I was lucky enough to experience a variety of responsibilities, including content creation, copywriting, social management and strategy and web editing. After two years with Warehouse, I took the role of Social Media Executive at Harrods which was a huge opportunity for me. This role focused mainly on reporting, analysis and channel management which although was great experience, wasn’t quite creative enough for me. This is when I then moved into my role at BrandAlley as Social and Influencer Executive, where I have now been for almost a year. This has been an excellent and varied role where every day is different. It involves me shooting content, managing multiple channels, writing copy, reporting, organising shoots, creating social/influencer campaigns and liaising with influencers to create content for us. I’ve learnt so much!
In my second and third year of uni, the social media industry really started to blow up and more opportunities to work within the industry became available. I wrote my dissertation on how brands utilise social media in different ways to gain brand awareness, so my interest really grew from there. Additionally, on my internships I often worked alongside the social team so seeing what they got up to on a day to day basis made me more determined to get into the industry.
I think the best thing is that every day can be different, and the role is really varied. I love how creative and experimental you can be on social – I think it’s really important to try everything out, even if it doesn’t work. Also, you pretty much get instant results so you can understand what your audience love and hate pretty quickly which is very helpful.
Working in social often means you have to multitask lots of different roles, which is great as then you have transferrable skills. Other roles I could use my skills for could include copywriting, asset and content creation, video editing, customer service..
One of the easiest things about working on social is to be inspired (well for me, anyway!). You can always find inspiration within social media, whether it be from Instagram reels to scrolling through Pinterest. My mind is constantly bursting with new ideas that I can’t wait to try out. However, one of the hardest aspects is that you’re working on platforms that are constantly changing and updating, and not always to your benefit. You have to be reactive, have your finger on the pulse at all times and ready to adapt things last minute.
Learning not only how to work remotely but how to continue to work collaboratively. Working from home, although it has it’s perks, was extremely challenging when you’re trying to brainstorm new campaign ideas, create assets and shoot content, however I can say with confidence that we can now do that with ease. Adapting to work from different environments than just the office has actually been a huge positive work me mentally – it’s been brilliant to either be in the comfort of my own home or even work from a coffee shop space.
One of the campaigns I’m extremely proud to have worked on was The International Womens Day ‘I Define Me’ campaign with Warehouse. It was an all female team, and we worked with women within the industry such as Esme Young, Bryony Gordon, Lauren Mahon, Nafisa Bakkar and Natalie Lee. We felt their voices had to be heard, and we delved deeper into their own personal journeys. One of the main elements of the campaign was that 100% of the proceeds from the £16 T-shirt bearing the “I define me” slogan went to Rosa, a grantmaking charity that funds grassroots women’s organisations to help make the UK a fairer, safer place for women.
However, I’m completely aware that I’m still in the very early stages of my career, and I’m so excited to experience many more ‘highs’ in the future.
I don’t really believe there is much point of regret as what is done is done. However, if I could have explored an area of my career further it would have been graphic design and photography. I have a real passion for photography, design and shooting content, and it ties in perfectly with social.
Once the pandemic hit, the whole social media industry had to think fast and react. Brands had to create exciting, engaging content in a way that hadn’t been done before, and keep their audience wanting more. Instagram live went completely crazy, with brands hosting exciting interviews with celebrities, bloggers and designers. Adding to this, this is when video content really started to rise. TikTok quickly became the most popular platform, with Instagram introducing Reels trying to stay relevant. It’s a really exciting time to be a part of this industry whilst it continues to grow.
Ok so, these are my best tips: